News, Culture & Society

Boy with spinal muscular atrophy asked to leave Chicago park because of wheelchair

Jordan Block, 10, (pictured) was asked to leave a Chicago park after a security guard raised concerns that his wheelchair posed a risk to other children

A young boy with spinal muscular atrophy was asked to leave a Chicago park after a security guard raised concerns that his wheelchair posed a risk to other children.  

Jordan Block, 10, was visiting Crown Fountain at Millennium Park after a doctor’s appointment last week when the guard approached his mother and asked them to leave.   

‘He’s had his chair since he was 2 years old and (the guard) said: “Well, if another kid runs into Jordan, that could create problems for us,”‘ Jordan’s mother, Megan Block told CBS 2 on Thursday. 

Block said she and Jordan frequently take trips to the fountain from their home in Warrenville and have never had an issue before.  

Recounting the incident, Jordan said he was ‘surprised’ by the guard’s comments, adding: ‘Yeah, I said, like, I’ve been here before and have been able to do it.’

Jordan said that because of his wheelchair limitations, visiting the park is one of the few activities he thoroughly enjoys – particularly on a warm summer day.

‘There’s not much else I can do, and that is something I can do – so it’s fun for me,’ Jordan said. 

Jordan’s mother told Graves that the incident created a different problem and provided her son with a lesson she wanted him to understand. 

‘I was like: “This is unacceptable!” You know, you’re able to do this, and it’s perfect for you, and we’re being told: “No!”‘ Block said.

Jordan was visiting Crown Fountain at Millennium Park after a doctor's appointment last week when the guard approached his mother and asked them to leave

Jordan is pictured in his wheelchair at Crown Fountain at Millennium Park

Jordan was visiting Crown Fountain at Millennium Park after a doctor’s appointment last week when the guard approached his mother and asked them to leave 

Jordan and his mother frequently visit Crown Fountain (pictured) from Warrenville, and said they never had an issue before

Jordan and his mother frequently visit Crown Fountain (pictured) from Warrenville, and said they never had an issue before

Jordan’s mother further expressed her frustration in a July 6 Facebook post, writing that her son was unable to cool down on a 90 degree day ‘because him driving a wheelchair isn’t allowed’. 

‘How about not EXCLUDING DISABLED CHILDREN FROM THINGS, watching your own kids and making sure they don’t run into my child who knows how to drive his chair,’ Block wrote. ‘Thank you Chicago for making my son cry today.’

Jordan said he felt ‘excluded’ and decided to go into the fountain regardless. He said he wasn’t hurt and neither was anyone else. 

According to the Millennial Park’s website, the fountain is wheelchair accessible and designed without edges or deep water areas so that individuals in wheelchairs can ‘easily enter the fountain area and participate with full inclusion’.

The website also states there are no limitations for where wheelchairs are allowed within the park.  

'He's had his chair since he was 2 years old and (the guard) said: "Well, if another kid runs into Jordan, that could create problems for us,"' Jordan's mother, Megan Block (pictured), said

‘He’s had his chair since he was 2 years old and (the guard) said: “Well, if another kid runs into Jordan, that could create problems for us,”‘ Jordan’s mother, Megan Block (pictured), said

In a July 6 Facebook post, Jordan's mother wrote that her son was unable to cool down on a 90 degree day 'because him driving a wheelchair isn't allowed.'

In a July 6 Facebook post, Jordan’s mother wrote that her son was unable to cool down on a 90 degree day ‘because him driving a wheelchair isn’t allowed.’

According to the Millennial Park's website , the fountain is wheelchair accessible and designed without edges or deep water areas so that individuals in wheelchairs can 'easily enter the fountain area and participate with full inclusion

According to the Millennial Park’s website , the fountain is wheelchair accessible and designed without edges or deep water areas so that individuals in wheelchairs can ‘easily enter the fountain area and participate with full inclusion

The city of Chicago has since spoke with the Titan Security guard and is addressing the issue as an ‘isolated incident’. 

The park released a statement saying they were ‘sorry to hear about Jordan’s experience and have been in touch with the family to apologize’.

‘Millennium Park was designed to be universally accessible, and Access is one of our department’s core values,’ the statement read. 

‘Working closely with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, we are committed to ensuring that everyone in our city has equal access to arts and culture – including Crown Fountain.’  

Jordan hopes the incident doesn’t occur again and that everyone is treated fairly in the future. 

‘I don’t want it to happen to anyone else,’ he said. ‘I want it to be fair for everyone.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk